France Orders Apple to Halt iPhone 12 Sales Over Electromagnetic Radiation Concerns

France has taken a bold step by ordering Apple to stop selling its iPhone 12 model due to concerns over excessive electromagnetic radiation emissions.

The decision was handed down by the French National Frequency Agency (ANFR), responsible for overseeing radio frequencies in the country. The ANFR has also mandated that Apple rectify the radiation issue for existing iPhone 12 devices in circulation. Should a software update fail to resolve the problem, the ANFR has warned that a total recall of all iPhone 12 units ever sold in France could be on the horizon.


Contradictory Opinions on Electromagnetic Radiation


While France’s stance reflects its commitment to consumer safety, it’s important to note that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has previously attempted to allay concerns about radiation emitted by mobile phones.

According to the WHO’s official website, there is currently no conclusive evidence to suggest that exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields, such as those produced by mobile phones, poses any harm to humans. This contrast in viewpoints adds complexity to the situation.


iPhone 12: A Controversial Device


The iPhone 12, initially introduced to the market in September 2020, remains a widely popular smartphone worldwide. However, it has now become the subject of a contentious dispute between Apple and French authorities.

Apple, in response to the ANFR’s review, has vehemently contested the allegations. The tech giant has furnished the regulatory body with laboratory results from both its own research and third-party assessments, all of which purportedly demonstrate that the iPhone 12 complies with all relevant rules and regulations concerning radiation levels.

Apple asserts that the iPhone 12 is recognised as being compliant with radiation standards across the globe. The company’s decision to challenge the ANFR’s findings reflects its commitment to maintaining the integrity of its products and its standing in the fiercely competitive tech market.




French Minister Issues Ultimatum


France’s Digital Minister, Jean-Noel Barrot, has weighed in on the matter, shedding light on the reason behind the ANFR’s decision. Barrot stated that the iPhone 12 was found to exceed the legally permissible threshold for Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), a measure of the rate at which the human body absorbs electromagnetic radiation. The SAR limit for devices in close contact with a person’s body, such as when held or placed in a trouser pocket, stands at four watts per kilogram. The iPhone 12’s “membre” SAR was reported to be 5.74 watts per kilogram—clearly surpassing the prescribed limit.

Barrot has given Apple a two-week window to respond and address the concerns raised by French authorities. Failure to do so, he warned, could result in the unprecedented recall of all iPhone 12 units in circulation. Barrot emphasised that the same standards apply to all companies, regardless of their size or influence, asserting that “the rule is the same for everyone, including the digital giants.”


 Implications Beyond France


France intends to share its findings with regulatory bodies across the European Union, raising the possibility of a “snowball effect” as other countries may follow suit in examining iPhone 12 radiation levels. Such a coordinated effort could have significant implications for Apple’s global sales and reputation.

Interestingly, the ANFR’s decision coincided with Apple’s unveiling of its latest model, the iPhone 15. The new device marks the first departure from the company’s traditional charging port since 2012, introducing an alternative charging port. Apple has also announced the sale of an adapter, allowing users to continue using their existing cables with the new iPhone.


China Denies Reports of iPhone Ban


In a separate development, China’s foreign ministry issued a rebuttal against media reports claiming that government agencies had instructed staff to refrain from using iPhones. China clarified that it had not enacted any laws, regulations, or policies banning the use of Apple’s products.

As the controversy surrounding the iPhone 12 unfolds, both Apple and global regulators must grapple with the complex issue of electromagnetic radiation in consumer electronics. The outcome of this dispute could set a precedent for how tech giants address safety concerns in their flagship products.